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FROM THIS EPISODE

Alabama's former Governor sits in a federal prison, while Washington Democrats raise questions about political prosecutions. We hear the latest bitter dispute about politics and the Bush Department of Justice. Also, Russian President Putin makes drops two political bombshells and, on Reporter's Notebook, computer games and other devices to keep brains healthy and fight the mental declines that come with aging.


Banner image is former Governor Don Spiegelman.

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Vanessa Romo
Christian Bordal

Reporter's Notebook Video Games for the Elderly 12 MIN, 26 SEC

Physical exercise, fresh fruits and vegetables and social activities have long been prescribed for people 65 and older, a population that will have doubled between the years 2000 and 2030. Now a fourth activity has been added to defend the brain against age and disease: exercise for the brain itself. New research suggests that the human brain can sprout new cells and rewire existing ones late in life. Professors Mike Merzenich of the University of California at San Francisco and Andrew Carle of George Mason University explain how entrepreneurs are marketing brain exercises to the baby boom generation.

Guests:
Mike Merzenich, Professor of Integrative Neurosciences at UC San Francisco
Andrew Carle, Professor of Health Administration at George Mason University

Making News Putin Drops Political Bomb as Military Drops 'Father' of Bombs 6 MIN, 4 SEC

Russia today announced testing of what it calls the "Father of all bombs," as President Putin dropped a political bombshell. He replaced Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with a virtual unknown—financial crime investigator Victor Zubkov. Fred Wier reports from Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor.

Guests:
Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor

Main Topic Was the Justice Department Using Prosecution as a Political Strategy? 30 MIN, 38 SEC

Two months ago, Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was sentenced to seven years for bribery and obstruction of justice. He was immediately shackled and denied release on bail pending appeal. He did not even get the usual 45 days to put his affairs in order. Democrats in Congress are investigating his prosecution and his conviction. Forty-four former state attorneys general—including Republicans—have asked Congress to investigate "irregularities" they say question the "basic fairness that is the linchpin of our system of justice." Alabama is in an uproar over a case that could have national implications. Has the Bush Administration played politics with the power of prosecution to influence elections? Are the Democrats misusing their power to conduct investigations?

Guests:
Laura McGann, Washington Reporter for TPMmuckraker.com
Eddie Curran, Investigative reporter for the Mobile Press-Register
Scott Horton, Professor, Columbia Law School

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